Nigeria security agents arrest activist for calling for revolution

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ABUJA, Aug 4 – Nigerian security agents arrested Omoyele Sowore, an activist, news organisation founder and former presidential candidate who was calling for revolution, the security agency said on Sunday.

Sowore, a human rights activist who founded Nigerian online news organisation Sahara Reporters and ran for president as a minor candidate in the February election, was arrested by the State Security Service on Saturday.

The detention comes as President Muhammadu Buhari, who won a second term in the election, faces criticism for his administration’s record on human rights, particularly a lethal crackdown on protesting followers of a Shi’ite leader who remains in detention despite a court order that he be freed.

Sowore has said Nigeria needs revolution partly because the elections were not credible, along with a list of other issues ranging from corruption to ineptitude.

“We don’t want war,” he said in a July video. “We want a very clean, quick, succinct revolutionary process – surgical. That we put an end to the shenanigans of government, that we put an end to oppression, the corruption of government.”

Sowore had planned for a nationwide series of protests to take place on Monday.

The State Security Service said the calls for revolution were unlawful.

“He’s with us,” said a spokesman, confirming the arrest.

“He has crossed the line, he has threatened public safety… Nothing will happen, there won’t be any revolution. The government, which has been elected democratically, will be in place.”

A presidency spokesman on Sunday said there is “a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.”

The statement did not refer to the arrest, but said “the ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria.”

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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